Descartes’ Discourse

Response paper based on some passages of Descartes’ Discourse on method.
500-600 word response paper should take the form of a short, thoughtful, exploratory essay structured around
one main topic, scene, or observation; a close analysis, supported by a few well chosen details and examples.
Think about who is speaking, about what, how, and when; about specific genre, style, alliteration, meter, and
rhyme (when writing about a poem); look up any vocabulary you do not understand or word choices that seems
intriguing or confusing. You can also use the response paper to make a broader observation about the text as
a whole, engaging with its main argument or claim (particularly, if responding to a philosophical or theoretical
text). But in this case, too, your argument should be well supported by evidence from the text. Avoid phrases
such as: “I like the part when…” or “I didn’t like the part when…” While this is your response to the text, the aim
of the exercise is critical thought and literary analysis based in textual evidence that helps us better understand
the text.
One way to approach this paper is to do a close reading of one of the philosophical texts covered in class (In
this case, Descartes only) and put it in the larger context of the ideas about truth, beauty, rationality, reason,
senses – or another theme we may not have covered in class but which you can see clearly emerging from the
text. Pick a passage or set of passages that clearly demonstrate your argument, but pay attention also to other
passages that may work against it.

Sample Solution